A new pilot programme is underway to help at-risk social housing tenants hold onto their tenancies, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams said today.
Under the Sustaining Tenancies Initiative, tenants with complex or serious needs who may be at risk of losing their tenancy will receive practical support from community providers to help get back on track.
“We know that steady housing helps provide stability and security, however, some tenants face eviction from their home for anti-social behaviour or financial issues, only to end up in need for emergency housing. If we can avoid them being evicted by resolving their behaviour, this benefits the tenant, their family, and the taxpayer,” Ms Adams says.
“We want to try new ways of supporting people who live in social housing with these issues. Through a social investment lens, the Sustaining Tenancies Initiative aims to address the underlying causes of eviction, leading to better outcomes.”
When the initiative is fully up and running, eight community providers will work alongside around 1000 vulnerable social housing tenants, with funding of $5 million over two years. From today, the first three providers in the initiative are underway. These are:
- Affinity Services (Auckland)
- Downtown Community Ministry (Wellington)
- Comcare Trust (Christchurch).
“Many tenants would like to address the causes of their behaviour but don’t know where to turn. Under this new initiative, practical support is available,” Ms Adams says.
“The kinds of practical support available will depend on what each tenant needs, but could include budgeting advice, help with relationship issues, healthy living plans, life skills coaching, and assistance to help tenants return to education, training or to find stable work.”
This initiative is part of the $9 million Better Housing Outcomes package, announced in July 2016, to improve the supply of housing for vulnerable people and to help people stabilise their tenancies.